(ModernSurvival.org) – Wildfires destroy hundreds of thousands of acres of land each year, leaving a charred, blackened landscape in their wake. This can be good for the ecosystem, as fires clear out dead vegetation and return valuable nutrients to the soil. Unfortunately, wildfires also burn down homes and take lives from those who get caught unprepared for the smoke and flames.
During droughts, a wildfire can start without warning. Something as small as a carelessly thrown cigarette can set an entire forest ablaze. Anyone who happens to be enjoying a trek through nature at the time will suddenly find themselves in a nightmare survival situation. While this scenario may seem hopeless, it is possible to escape the fire before it’s too late.
What to Do
The first thing to remember is that fires burn uphill and in the direction the wind is blowing. To avoid the surge, travel downhill and upwind. If possible, stick to areas with little to no vegetation, such as stream beds or dirt roads.
While travelling downhill is a good idea, so long as it isn’t toward the fire, heading into a canyon isn’t. Canyons are dangerous because they create draws, which will amplify the fire.
One of the safest places to be during a wildfire is in the area it has already burnt though. Since the fire has already ravaged the environment here, the chances of it passing back through are low. This doesn’t mean there isn’t still danger lurking. Burnt limbs or entire trees can topple without warning. Hiking beneath a “widowmaker” branch can be just as deadly as falling victim to the smoke and flames.
Getting caught in a wildfire while hiking or camping is bad enough, but having one threatening the home is a different situation entirely. To see what can be done to protect a household from an approaching wildfire, check out our article here.
~Here’s to Your Survival!
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